We would like to know about your experience in accessing Higher Education as a Mature Student. This may have been a course you completed, one that you are currently doing, or one that you would like to do. The survey is aimed at finding ways to improve access to Higher Education for Mature Students. Your response will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be used in anonymous form along with other responses, and will not be used for any other purpose. Completion of this survey is entirely voluntary. Thank you for taking part in this survey.
Current Status

Question Title

* 1. Have you participated in Higher Education as a mature student?

Question Title

* 2. If you have in the past been, or are currently, a Mature Student in Higher Education, is/was this:

Question Title

* 3. If you have in the past been, or are currently, a Mature Student in Higher Education, is/was this mainly:

Question Title

* 4. Are you the first person in your immediate family who has attended Higher Education?

Question Title

* 5. Are you, or have you ever been, in receipt of:

  Yes No
Back to Education Allowance (BTEA):
SUSI Grant:

Question Title

* 6. What are/were the main issues, barriers and challenges to participating in Higher Education?

  1 - Not a barrier 2 3 4 5 - Major barrier
Family responsibilities and commitments
Job commitments
Timing of study (day/evening)
Financial cost
Distance to travel to study
Insufficient information on availability of courses
Insufficient support and advice
Difficulties adapting to college life
Not engaging socially with traditional entrants
Lack of flexible study options e.g. part-time
Disability or health issues
Unsure about whether higher education was right for me

Question Title

* 7. Would you consider yourself as any of the following?

  Yes No
Member of the Traveller community
Having a disability
Lone parent in receipt of a means-tested social welfare payment
Come from an area of economic and social disadvantage

Question Title

* 8. Based on your experience, please outline your views on any specific issues faced by the following categories of mature students which might hinder their participation in higher education:

Question Title

* 9. How have the restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 crisis impacted on your ability to participate in higher education?

Supporting structures, guidance systems and community structures

Question Title

* 10. How would you rate the supports provided to mature students, whether you have ever been a mature student yourself or not?

  1 - Working very well 2 3 4 5 - Working very poorly
Financial supports
Guidance and support to complete my course
Mental health and other supports
Help with digital/ICT skills
Help with mathematics
Peer supports
Community supports

Question Title

* 11. Please outline your views on how satisfied or not you are with the quality of careers information available to you:

  Very Satisfied Satisfied Neither Satisfied or Unsatisfied Unsatisfied Very Unsatisfied
Information on likely job opportunities
Information on requirements for success in different careers
Information on how to apply for jobs
Information on higher education options
Information on the full range of higher education courses
Information on vocational training and apprenticeships
Information on further education options
Course Delivery

Question Title

* 12. Would you say the following aspects of how Higher Education is delivered is suitable to Mature Students?

  Very Suitable Suitable Neither Suitable or Unsuitable Unsuitable Very Unsuitable
Performance assessment (exams, presentations etc)
Extent of IT usage
Project based assessments
Options for online or distance learning
Flexibility in time to complete modules
Availability of part-time courses
Other Education Providers

Question Title

* 13. Prior to considering applying to higher education, did you:

  Yes No
Participate in a course(s) provided by an ETB or further education and training
Participate in a course(s) provided by a Community Education Provider
Participate in a course(s) abroad
Participate in a course(s), though I am unsure of who provided it

Question Title

* 14. If you hadn’t done that course(s), how likely would it have been that you would have gone on to Higher Education?

Financial Supports

Question Title

* 15. How would you rate the following financial supports for mature students?

  Very Good Good Neither Good nor Poor Poor Very Poor
Financial supports for persons with disabilities
Support for studying abroad
Student grants (SUSI)
Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

Question Title

* 16. Are there any structures, supports, learning or teaching approaches that would best suit mature students in general, or specific groups such as Travellers, learners with disabilities, lone parents or learners with a socio-economic disadvantage in particular?

Question Title

* 17. Are there any aspects of Government support for education, employment and social protection that could be better aligned to encourage mature students to participate in Higher Education?

Background Details for Statistical Analysis Use Only

Question Title

* 18. What age are you?

Question Title

* 19. Gender:

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete this questionnaire. If you have any queries re this, please contact Natasha Browne at Indecon – E-mail: nbrowne@indecon.ie.

T